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mtro "markysparky55"

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In This World
In This World
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £17.95

5.0 out of 5 stars In This World, 28 Sep 2011
This review is from: In This World (Audio CD)
This 1998 album is one of Turner's run of 4 albums on Warner Bros and is currently out of print. This is a shame as all of Turner's Warner efforts may not have been the commercial successes the label hoped but perfectly demonstrate the artistry that has made Turner a cult figure. As a generation of new saxophonists citing Turner as their primary influence emerges, I wonder if Warner will reissue the albums? This one also features Warner's most successful jazz signing of the 90s, Brad Mehldau on piano, plus bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade, with the additional of guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and second drummer Jorge Rossy on some of the tracks, a heavyweight lineup. Most importantly, while the tendency to have 'guest stars' pop up has plagued many a 90s major-label jazz release, this one has a consistent feel across all the tracks and a high level of inspiration prevails. Turner's personalities as a composer and as an improvisor are tied in together exceptionally well and his simpatico with Mehldau is something to behold. As Turner's star has gradually risen in the decade since he was dropped by Warner, there can be no doubt that this records future classic status is guaranteed.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999]
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Offered by Factory Shop Deals
Price: £17.99

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re-evaluating 'Menace', 24 Mar 2006
I thought I'd chip and add my thoughts to the complete Star Wars saga. Yes, Phantom Menace is the worst Star Wars film by quite a long way. The storyline is too overwrought, and the overall excitement factor of this film is low, but the end sequence is indeed impressive, and the action starts quite quickly (perhaps a criticism of Attack of The Clones). Jar Jar Binks was harshly criticised initally, yet he plays the comedic role in the absence of R2 and Threepio for most of the film, and he's just great for kids. It's Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker who irritates but c'mon, he's only little. The script is a little lacking in zest (Lucas should have brought back Lawrence Kasdan, who no doubt was the main factor in the success of Return of The Jedi's dramatic climax), but the film overrall is average, not a bad action film if you remove it from the series' massive cultural impact. This the best Star Wars DVD was a smorgasbord of watchable extras, making it an excellent package. Overall, it's a decent film just nothing special.

Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Price: £7.73

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chick Corea's Finest Hour, 30 Sep 2005
While Chick Corea is perhaps best known for his brief stint with Miles Davis, his trailblazing 70's fusion work with Return To Forever and his 80's and 90's work with Dave Weckl and John Patticuti in his Elektric Band, it's interesting to hear that his piano style (a weird fusion of latin jazz, free jazz, bebop, modern jazz and 20th century classical) was fully formed even on this early trio date, the one that perhaps best shows his musical direction before being forced into playing electric piano by Miles Davis and eventually going down the fusion route. The trio on this date has reformed several times and consists of Corea, Chezch bassist Miroslav Vitous (later of Weather Report) and (even then) veteran drummer Roy Haynes (famous for his work with Bud Powell among others). Opener 'Steps/What Was' perhaps exemplifies what a superb group this is with Chick Corea combining simple musical motifs with his own virtuoso playing and letting the rhythm section carry him into the stratosphere. I'm particulary fond of the transition between the two songs, by way of a fantastic Roy Haynes drum solo. The music bridges the gap between structured and free improvisation and the cd itself is packed with bonus tracks not on the original lp, further demonstating the ability of this trio, that must rank of one of the finest since Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian's legendary combination.

Empyrean Isles
Empyrean Isles
Price: £6.20

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Herbie's Finest, 30 Sep 2005
This review is from: Empyrean Isles (Audio CD)
Empyrean Isles by Herbie Hancock could be viewed as a warm up for Maiden Voyage, universally accepted as one of the greatest jazz albums ever produced. On Empyrean Isles, the celebrated Hancock/Carter/Williams rhythm section (working in Miles Davis's band at the time) combine with the artistry of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, (the whole group, together with saxophonist George Coleman, recorded Maiden Voyage) who provides an interesting contrast to Davis, with his more aggresive, Coltrane-influenced take on Hard Bop trumpet playing. The aggressive opener 'One Finger Snap' is pure floating groove as generally associated with the rhythm section, while Oliquoi Valley takes a more relaxed but still powerful bent as Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock show their affinity for one another's playing style. The third track is the well known 'Cantaloupe Island' that in the style of 'Watermelon Man' from 'Takin' Off' provides a modal blues line with a stunning groove. The final track is 'The Egg' a free improvisation, where Ron Carter in particular shines. It's interesting to note the disparity in approach between 'The Egg' and other early free jazz, for example the work of Ornette Coleman. Overall this album shows Herbie Hancock's self-assuredness at this early stage in his career and may have never been topped, even by Maiden Voyage, depending on your point of view.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2011 5:09 AM GMT

One Hot Minute [U.S. Version]
One Hot Minute [U.S. Version]
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.89

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Jane's Addiction Fan Explains, 30 Sep 2005
Most of the people who review this album are RHCP fans, normally ones who only discovered them after Californication was released. When I was about 15, I loved Blood Sugar Sex Magik by RHCP, and still think it's a fine record. A more musically mature listener would have to admit though that Ritual De Lo Habitual, by Jane's Addiction, an album I discovered when I was 17 is a much stronger and more artistically worthy work. So the meeting of these two 80's LA bands was always going to be interesting. A lot of the reason this album fails is that the Chilli Peppers couldn't follow up Blood Sugar Sex Magik without descending into cliche (like on Californication where they settled into the seat of elder statesmen of radio friendly soft rock). Any fans of RHCP really ought to ask themselves if they are true fan if they consider Californication a 'return to form'. At least on One Hot Minute the band attempted to take advantage of their new lineup and try a new direction. To be fair, Navarro doesn't fully fit in, in the same way Flea didn't fit it into the Jane's Addiction reunion, because RHCP weren't really an alternative rock band at any point, and Dave Navarro tends to spoil the commercial edge of the RHCP's music. Still, it's miles better than Californication, which completely failed to deliver a proper funk song (Aeroplane and Walkabout make a mockery of Get On Top and Around The World). Now go and listen to Ritual De Lo Habitual by Jane's Addiction if you haven't yet.

Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £32.22

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Trio Music, 23 Aug 2005
This is Bill Evans' most famous trio playing their most famous concert, a few weeks before the tragic death of Scott LaFaro who this record is a tribute to (the songs that best showed LaFaro's compositional and improvisational brilliance at the concert were chosen to make this record, the remainder of the material appeared on Waltz For Debby). Bill's playing is eloquent as ever, and it's often difficult to tell where he's improvising, so perfect are the notes he chooses. LaFaro's solos are also mindblowing, not just technically but melodically, the amount of expression he brings to a 'difficult' instrument like the double bass. My only complaint is that the sound is a little biased to the bass end (for obvious reasons) and it tends to overpower the piano, making you listen more to the bass than the melody. Like many jazz albums though, repeated listenings help clarify the music's flow.

Held on the Tips of Fingers
Held on the Tips of Fingers
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £39.85

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and Imaginative, 23 Aug 2005
Polar Bear are a group that have got a lot of press attention and deservedly so, here are a group keeping jazz alive without resorting to age-old cliches of the genre and incorporating elements of other styles to create some appeal to a young audience. Seb Rochford's compositions are simple yet they are strong improvisational frameworks which the two tenor players certainly take advantage of. If I were to pick a favourite track it would be 'Fluffy' which mixes acoustic jazz with drum and bass drum patterns, and uses rhythmic editing for some exciting sounds. Unlike their counterpart group (sharing three of four members) Acoustic Ladyland, the group do not use any electric or electronic instruments which adds a strange edge to their cutting edge music, in that the acoustic sound is not what you expect. Top marks!

Miles Davis Quintet 1965-'68: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
Miles Davis Quintet 1965-'68: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £74.21

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History in a box, 18 July 2005
Wow! The six cd's in this set are a lot to take in at first but repeated listenings ultimately create a portrait of how this revolutionary group changed jazz. Spanning from 'E.S.P' in 1965 to 'Filles De Kilimanjaro'in 1968, all the studio recordings made by the quintet of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams are captured here, and the move from hard bop with an avant-garde tinge to jazz-rock is shown here, ultimately to be continued on the complete 'In a Silent Way' sessions. Wayne Shorter's compositions are excellent and the playing all round is exceptional, especially the intuitive rhythm section of Hancock, Carter and Williams. The album cuts are brought together with alternate takes and some nice extras such as the group rehearshing Herbie Hancock's 'Speak Like A Child' which was later recorded by Herbie with his sextet in 69' and with Jaco Pastorius in 76'.

Heavy Weather
Heavy Weather

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annoyingly infectious, 31 Oct 2004
This review is from: Heavy Weather (Audio CD)
When I first listened to this album, I was already aware of how cheesy opening track 'Birdland' is, and the entire album does have a somewhat cheesy sound, due particularly to Zawinul's then revolutionary, now dated, synthesizers and Jaco's brilliant but dated sounding fretless bass technique. The songs are extremely structured and there are relatively few solos, with a more compositional technique used and less room for instrumental virtuosity than say Return To Forever. However, this emphasises the strength of the tunes, composed by Zawinul, Shorter and Pastorius who all excel. My personal highlights are Shorter's 'Harlequin' and Pastorius's 'Teen Town', which both are good examples of the moodier, emotional edge to the album.

Where Have I Known You Before
Where Have I Known You Before
Price: £7.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Forever Phase Three!, 21 Oct 2004
After establishing Return To Forever as a jazz-rock band from it's latin roots in the divide between 'Light As A Feather' and 'Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy', the simultaneous discovery of Al DiMeola and the implementation of synthesizers into Chick Corea's keyboard arsenal suddenly originated the sound of the band that would later produce 'Romantic Warrior'. All the hallmarks are there; Stanley Clarke's expanded role and hi-fi sound incorporating his slap technique and trademark solos, Al DiMeola's ultra fast chops and solid comping, Lenny White's thumping drums and extra percussive gloss and of course, Corea's combination of electric piano, clavinet and synthesizers to create a wall of sound. The sound is generally funkier and less refined than that of 'Romantic Warrior', with the unusual inclusion of acoustic piano interludes from Corea, perhaps a sign of Corea's elevated status, though the group soon became more than just Chick Corea's band, and all the members contribute to the composition, with Clarke's opener 'Vulcan Worlds', being particularly successful.

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